Author: Narayan Kaudinya

Turiya and Ramakrishna: The Science of Breathing

The first act of Life as soon as we come out of mother’s womb is, we inhale. Maharaj Ji asked me to sit straight and take one deep breath, in a voice that demanded attention. I held it for 10 seconds, as he continued, and the last act of life is, we exhale; that is it. Leave the breath through your mouth. We inhale and we start crying. When we exhale, we make others cry. Between these two, a whole life is lived and one must take a deeper and a closer look at our lives. Because however our life is, the most important thing we unfortunately learn to ignore is, our breath. Also Read: Food and the World on a New Yogi’s Mind Maharaj Ji was making a Yantra with red vermillion, on an old bhojpatra paper as he casually started telling me a tale of essence about being. This was way back in 2014, around when we were travelling right towards the centre of India, to Ujjain. But had to take a detour …

A Park in the Forest: A short Walk in the Jungles of Almora

The last descent of the sun, unlike the day, feels leaving us the fastest. And how each day then once consumed, becomes thought of the night. Turning into complexly connected dreams in sleep. Each moment. Every missed yes, becomes only a memory once its gone and done with. Deep in the valley of Almora, there is a temple hidden in the oasis of many layers of devdars called Chitai Mata Temple or the Golu Devta Temple. On a cold morning when i decided to walk through the jungle of celestial trees, i didn’t know that i will never reach there. Not because villagers told me it was far. Or because i got frightened as villagers tried to stop me for the tiger might find me alone. To tell you, this the story of every mountain. For each valley you will visit, you will find one fearless man telling you to fear. For a tiger or two, or certainly a bear might arrive. And as always. I left. But as I left to not reach, i …

How Pandemic changed the Reality for Children? Corona Diaries from School

Its been over three weeks since our small school opened. Two years later; Seeing things coming close to a world more open, towards unafraid times again is nothing less than grace from nature. A whole generation has changed the way it socializes and even less. We now have more close friends and acquaintances online than any generation ever had. Life, material living has changed for the world, yet we are trying to get back to what felt natural. But the world of kids that saw this Pandemic in their youngest, most vulnerable years has transformed the future that is coming for them. Almost every kid I met recently was a lion at home but a goat amongst other goats. Pandemic took their freedom. And if not their bodies, their souls know the jail they were in. The fear that oozed from each human silently, projected on a world stage, afraid parents for their children, for themselves, for their family’s future together. Nations and many a leaders were not ready for this and some could not …

Brahma Calls To Pushkar: Travelling with Parents to Man Mahal and other stories: An Ode To Photographic February

Something unlikely happened in February. I wrote a letter for the first time, to send it far away; away across the seven seas wishing someone love, birthday wishes and health. And subtly felt that I should start doing it more often. Through writing at least, making unknown known, to the people who are close but far, sending Postcards to you. As it would be great to support our age old Letter/Postal services to keep working in this digital world.  As it was also the birth month of my Mother. I kept planning that my parent’s travel, somewhere they had never been to. More so when they are more like Pilgrims than tourists, so wherever they can find a calling connection with the local lord, a deity of a city, a region; they go there happily. And that high of happiness had eluded them for the longest time. Much before the Virus locked our gates. The orders had come to open the schools. Ma and I had already started planning the opening of our school. We …

Last Few Days of Winter from my friend Rinku’s Home, in Naggar- Himalayas: A Photo-Story

You know I love Delhi for its years old rich history, but more often than less, it has only been a pass for me towards the mountains. I love the Himalayas more. And in last one decade and half, I have found myself reaching to Naggar than anywhere else. It may also be how this quaint small village found me finding. Also Read: Birdsong- the first poem i wrote after reaching Naggar In 2007, while riding my bike from Delhi, looking for a place to stay for the night, each person i asked from directed me towards Naggar. Nagar in Hindi simply means a ‘city’, or so i thought that once i reach the city i will find a place. But the altitude kept getting higher as i rode in the night getting skeptical of ever reaching any so called ‘city’. But when I finally reached there, the first thing my senses noticed was the fragrance of Devdar trees. It was dark in the night and cricket sang the song of the moon. There were …

The Curse of A Tale: And Why each mother should make her child first, a storyteller?

Sound is important. Anyone who takes on a story takes on the responsibility of passing it on. A.K Ramanujan, an Indian Poet and Folklorist wrote in the preface to his book Folktales from India, “Stories and words not only have weight; they also have wills and rages, and they can take different shapes and exact revenge against a person who doesn’t tell them and release them into the world. They are there before any particular teller tells them; stories hate it when they are not passed on to others, for they can come into being again and again only in that act of translation. If you know a tale, any tale; you owe it not only to others but to the tale itself to tell it; otherwise it suffocates. Traditions have to be kept in good repair, transmitted, or else, beware, such tales seem to say, things will happen to you. You can’t hoard them.” He then tells of a Kondh tribal who possessed four stories which he was too lazy to repeat. One night, …

Lore of the Light: A Brief History of Nine Planets in India- ४

It was a short journey and my first to Ujjain in Central India. The city of time itself. I was almost strolling when on the ghats of Shipra river I met a sage sitting alone but not alone. He looked strangely wild and attractive, focused. He was arranging his stones, picking them carefully as if they were beings and putting them in an unusual order, only after looking for many a seconds towards the sky. Curious, i had many questions to ask. And i did. This conversation was recorded thus and is presented like every story must. Also read: Turiya and Ramakrishna: Who are you? Q. What is your name?A. Narayan. Waah, Narayan! okay Narayan, Listen carefully. I will start from the start. Vedas, India’s four ancient sacred book-length accumulations of living wisdom. The oldest literature in the history of mankind. Since the last standardisation of the vedas, dozens of centuries ago, these hymns have been flawlessly preserved, syllable for syllable and word for word, by their priestly keepers. The hymns of the vedas were …

Life Of Verrier Elwin: Past and the Present Of the Tribal Cultures In Central India: A Photo-ethnographic Essay

Elwin’s research work in India took place at a critical period leading up to the Indian Independence from British rule. Verrier Elwin first met Mahatma Gandhi in 1928 at his ashram in Ahmedabad, where he had gone to represent the Christa Seva Sangh at the International Fellowship of Religions. Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagrah  as non-violent resistance against the colonial rule had a strong impact on Elwin and he were drawn into the national movement for Independence. However, as he became more deeply involved in the welfare of the community that he lived with, in central India, he began to question the relevance of Gandhi’s severe views on prohibition, celibacy and vegetarianism for that environment. In his autobiography he wrote. “long letter from Mahatma Gandhi urging me to perform daily yagna or sacrifice, of spinning; as no one here for hundreds of miles has ever seen a spinning wheel, decide not to, but suggest rice pudding as a daily sacrifice instead. Elwin’s personal reassertion of loyalty and identity was unequivocal. At a time when most of …